Live /

Over 200 of Scotland’s historic places are now open for you to visit for free. Please see our guidance on visiting sites during COVID-19 before you travel.

x
 

Overview

Discover a place so beloved by Robert the Bruce, he chose it as the final resting place for his heart. Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, and it was a highly desirable place to be buried.

David I founded Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery in 1136. Being so close to the border, Melrose Abbey suffered at English hands during the Middle Ages. Rebuilt in the 1380s, it was used as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. Afterwards, the existing monks were allowed to stay on: the last died in 1590.

What to see and do

  • Admire the graceful architecture of the abbey church, among Britain’s finest church architecture of the late 1300s
  • Take in the charming sculpture – look out for the famous bagpipe-playing Melrose pig
  • Step inside the chapter house, where a heart believed to be that of Robert the Bruce is buried
  • Visit the Commendator’s House Museum to see a rich collection of medieval objects found in the abbey cloister
  • Download a map of the abbey to discover the highlights
  • Take our fun fact-finding quiz while exploring the abbey or give our wordsearch a try. Available on site
Historic Scotland

Opening times

This site is closed while we work hard to make sure our historic attractions can be enjoyed whilst making sure the experience is safe for everyone.

Facilities

Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Save with an Explorer Pass

Get free entry to Scotland’s top visitor attractions with an Explorer Pass valid for 5 or 14 consecutive days.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

View learning activities

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.